April 24, 2020
Dear Colleagues,

Your Councilors, Lee Snyder, MD and I would like to update you on the Webinar Council meeting we attended last evening. 

The Academy leaders are still conducting the business of the Academy. The prime focus currently is to safely navigate in this new uncertain landscape and continue to advocate for ophthalmologists and patients.

We did receive an overview of the optometry survey. The overarching result of the survey is that there is no clear mandate to either include optometrists in some way or not include optometrists. It was said many times that the leadership wants to operate in a field of transparency and that no decisions are to be made in the near future. But rather, the AAO is fully focused on the business of running the Academy and providing guidance for transitioning back to practice during the COVID-19 crisis. The leadership emphasized that they will revisit this topic at a later time and will request more input from members.

Here is the link for the survey results:  aao.org/optometry-survey-results

The Federal Government has funded the PPP and the EIDL programs. Please check with your accountant and your bank and quickly apply.

Please check the AAO and MedChi websites for the most current COVID-19 information. For archived versions of these updates visit the MSEPS website.

Renee Bovelle, MD
Lee Snyder, MD
Virtual Events

Monday, April 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm. The DMV ophthalmology community will join together again to discuss our collective experiences and brainstorm solutions to the challenges presented to our practices during the COVID pandemic. Topic:Covid Financial Relief Programs.

Friday May 1, 2020 Retina Festival 2020 is an “all-star” line-up of more than 50 faculty members from around the world participating in a continuing medical education event from the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The program will provide the latest updates from clinical trials and other evidence in the peer-reviewed medical literature that are relevant to the prevention and management of retinal diseases around the world.

On May 12, 2020 Academy members across the United States have an important opportunity to advocate for their practice and patients during the Academy’s first-ever virtual advocacy day.

Disclaimer: MSEPS does not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites or events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  
April 23, 2020

Dear MedChi Members and Maryland Physicians:

We have a lot of information to share with you today. We hope you find this useful, and we encourage you to reach out with questions.


  • CMS will hold its weekly "Lessons from the Front Lines" call on Friday, April 24 at 12:30-2:00 pm. The call will feature CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians can share strategies, discuss insights and ideas, and ask questions. To access the call, dial 877-251-0301 and enter access code 5096006 or register for the audio webcast here.

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is holding daily webinars and conference calls to help small business owners understand their relief options:
  • 3:00 pm – Daily Conference Call - 202-765-1264; ID # 827-299-626
  • 5:30 pm – Daily Conference Call - 202-765-1264; ID # 310-688-488
  • 10:30 am and 8:00 pm – Zoom Webinar - Meeting # 6794772946  


  • We'd like to congratulate Sam Malhortra, Governor Hogan's former Chief of Staff, on his appointment to Maryland's Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC). The HSCRC has been integral to the COVID-19 response in Maryland and will benefit greatly from Mr. Malhotra's contributions.

  • HHS has just released additional information on the $100 billions CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. If you need help with understanding the new information, please reach out to us.

  • MedChi is working with a coalition of state medical societies in collaboration with Rockpointe, Inc. to survey physicians and practice managers on the impact of COVID-19 on medical practices. We request and encourage your participation.


  • Visit MedChi's COVID-19 Resource Page regularly for more information and resources as we work through this crisis together.

  • MedChi and the Center for a Healthy Maryland want you to know that the Maryland Physicians Health Program (MPHP) is here to help if the stress of dealing with the pandemic becomes too overwhelming. We have communicated to hospitals in Maryland to remind them that we are here to help. We are here to help all physicians, so if you or a colleague need help coping, please call 410.962.5580 or 800.992.7010, option 3. The staff is working remotely so please leave a message and you will receive a call back.

We will send our next update out on Monday.

Thank you for all that you do as physicians, healers, and heroes.

Gene Ransom
MedChi CEO
Use these key strategies to facilitate patient check-in prior to the encounter: 
  1. Conduct a screening for possible exposure to COVID-19 or symptoms of illness. 
  2. Set expectations for the office visit. 
  3. Identify patient safety precautions and office protocols. 
  4. Review patient demographic information and history. 
For detailed steps on implementing each strategy, read this article from the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives.
Contribute to Registry of Patients With COVID-19
The American College of Surgeons has launched a new registry to help hospitals capture data about patients they treat who have COVID-19. According to the organization, the goal is "to collect important clinical patient data for a disease about which little is known." All hospitals can contribute to the ACS COVID-19 Registry, and participation is free. More information .
New Articles from Ophthalmology

Michael X. Repka, MD, Academy medical director for governmental affairs; David B. Glasser, MD, Academy secretary for federal affairs; and Cherie McNett, Academy director of health policy cover COVID-19 relief funds and accelerated payments from Medicare.
Webinar recordings coming soon:
  • Ophthalmology 2.0: Rebooting the Ophthalmology Marketplace
  • Q&A with Solos and Small Group Practices on the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Providing Additional Resources for
Small Businesses
and Health Care Workers

Yesterday  I brought to the House Floor bipartisan legislation to provide additional relief  to s mall businesses and their employees as we continue to confront the coronavirus pandemic. I am glad the President signed this bill into law today so that it can provide relief to Marylanders as quickly as possible. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provides additional funding to loan and grant programs that aim to keep small businesses in Maryland afloat and able to keep their employees on their payroll. Additionally, the legislation provides more funding to expand testing capabilities across the nation, and it provides additional resources to hospitals and health care workers as they fight the coronavirus. These were all necessary actions to take; however, I am disappointed that this legislation does not include a number of other important provisions, including a fix to ensure that the District of Columbia receives fair funding so that it is equipped to address this public health crisis in our region. 

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act is an important step in fighting this pandemic, but more is needed to help families and businesses facing severe financial hardships. As Congress begins work on the next coronavirus legislative package, I will continue to advocate for additional funding for state and local governments so that they can keep teachers and first responders on their payrolls, and work to strengthen our public health system to address racial disparities. Additionally, I will also work to ensure the District of Columbia receives the funding it needs to fight this pandemic. 

As always, I encourage all Fifth District residents to continue to share their concerns and insights with me by contacting my  office  or connecting with me on   Facebook Twitter , or   Instagram .
Sincerely Yours,   
Steny H. Hoyer
Telehealth Resources

Backline from Dr. First is a Telehealth platform used by MedChi's CTO and can be used by any physician.

Financial Resources

Resources to Help Your Small Business Survive the Coronavirus 

**As of 5 p.m. on April 6, Commerce is no longer accepting new applications for its COVID-19 Relief Grant and Loan Programs.**

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund
Contact Us:
1211 Cathedral St
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone 410-244-7320
Fax 410-727-5967